University of Virginia Heating Plant Hot Well Replacement

University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

CHA was responsible for emergency design and construction administration services to replace the hot well tank that handles the campus steam heating utility condensate return at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, Virginia. The project was executed during a highly condensed schedule as an emergency project for the UVA personnel and departments involved.

The original hot well was field constructed inside a concrete chamber, and over time a water leak leached the chlorides out of the cement in the surrounding concrete, corroding the 304 stainless steel. Subsequent hot well failure would shut down the heating plant, interrupt the campus steam utility, inflict significant damage to the coal-fired boilers, and shut down critical facilities. The UVA and CHA team configured a temporary bypass system that prevented any interruption to the UVA Hospital and connected academic, research and administration buildings. With the campus distribution system operating, the original hot well was demolished, and the replacement hot well was field fabricated in place using 316 stainless steel. Configuration improvements included clearance around the tank sides and a removable metal plate floor system to enable hot well tank and pit access for service, maintenance and inspection.

The replacement hot well was seamlessly started back up and phased into service without interruption to the heating distribution system or heating plant shutdown. All connected buildings, including the UVA hospital, continued serving the university and community uninterrupted before, during and after the project. At project completion, the temporary bypass system was kept in place for future redundancy.

Services Provided by CHA:
  • Design
  • Construction Administration